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The College Catalogue

History – Overview

Dallas G. Denery II, Department Chair

Rebecca Banks, Department Coordinator

Professors: Patrick J. Rael, Olufemi Vaughan (Africana Studies), Allen Wells

Associate Professors: Connie Y. Chiang (Environmental Studies), Dallas G. Denery II, David M. Gordon†, K. Page Herrlinger†, Matthew W. Klingle (Environmental Studies), Sarah F. McMahon, Brian Purnell* (Africana Studies), Rachel L. Sturman*(Asian Studies), Susan L. Tananbaum

Assistant Professors: David K. Hecht, Meghan Roberts†, Ya (Leah) Zuo (Asian Studies)

Visiting Faculty: Thomas Fleischman, Tristan R. Grunow (Asian Studies)

Requirements for the Major in History

History offers courses in the following fields of study: Africa, East Asia, Europe, Latin America, South Asia, the United States, Atlantic Worlds, and Colonial Worlds. Multi-field courses fall into more than one of these fields of study.

Before electing to major in history, a student should have completed or have in progress at least two college-level courses in history. In consultation with a faculty advisor in the department, a student should plan a program that begins at either the introductory or the intermediate level and progresses to the advanced level.

The major consists of ten courses, with the following stipulations:

1. No more than two courses below the intermediate level (numbered below 2000 {200}) may count toward the major, and these must be taken prior to the junior year.

2. No more than six courses in a single field of study may count toward the major. A multi-field course may count toward any one of its designated fields, but a single course may not count toward more than one field of study.

3. Non-Euro/U.S. courses: Four non-Euro/U.S. courses. These courses are designated by professors and noted in the course Catalogue. The history department also maintains a list of these courses, which is available on the department website.

4. Pre-modern course: One pre-modern course. These courses are designated by professors and noted in the course Catalogue. The history department also maintains a list of these courses, which is available on the department website.

5. Upper-level seminars: Three courses numbered 2500 or higher, taken in at least two fields of study. One of these courses must be an advanced seminar (numbered 3000–3999 {300–399}). Previous related course work or permission of the instructor may be required. In consultation with a faculty advisor, a major may fulfill the 3000-level requirement with an honors project.

Grades: Students must obtain a minimum course grade of C- to receive credit toward the major. Courses that will count toward the major must be taken for regular letter grades (not Credit/D/Fail).

Study away: In the sophomore year, students anticipating study away from Bowdoin should discuss with the departmental advisor a plan for the history major that includes work at Bowdoin and elsewhere. Students participating in approved off-campus study may count no more than one history course per semester toward the history major. In exceptional cases, students may petition to receive credit for more than one course per semester toward the history major. In all cases, a maximum of three history courses taken away from Bowdoin may count toward the history major.

Honors: All history majors seeking departmental honors will register for at least one semester of advanced independent study (which will be converted to an Honors Project after honors is awarded). Its primary requirement is the research and writing of the honors thesis. To be eligible to register for Honors, a student must have the equivalent of a B+ average in courses taken in the department and the approval of a thesis advisor.

Languages: History majors are encouraged to develop competence in one or more foreign languages and to use this competence in their historical reading and research. Knowledge of a foreign language is particularly important for students planning graduate work.

Requirements for the Minor in History

The minor consists of five courses with the following stipulations:

1. A maximum of one course below the intermediate level (numbered below 2000 {200}) must be taken prior to junior year.

2. A maximum of one course may be taken at another institution (may not count as an intermediate seminar or higher).

3. One course must be taken at the level of intermediate seminar or higher (course must be taken at Bowdoin).

4. One course must be non-Euro/US.

5. Courses that will count toward the minor must be taken for regular letter grades (not Credit/D/Fail).

Curriculum

First Year Seminars (1000-1049 {10–29}) introduce students to college-level writing through the study of history as a discipline.

Introductory courses (1100-1999 {100–199}) introduce students to the methods and skills of history as a humanities and social science discipline. (Generally closed to seniors.)

Core courses (2000-2499) survey historical themes and problems and offer opportunities to deepen skills in historical thinking and writing. (Open to all students, including first-year students.)

Intermediate seminars (2500-2999) offer the opportunity for more intensive work in critical reading and discussion, analytical writing, library or archival research, and methodology. (Not open to first-year students without instructor’s permission; some background in the discipline assumed.)

Advanced seminars (3000-3999 {300–399}) expect students to build on prior coursework by developing a substantial piece of historical research. (Not open to first-year students without instructor’s permission.)


Online Catalogue content is current as of August 1, 2014. For most current course information, use the online course finder. Also see Addenda.